cafe miscellania

  • from Kieran

    i used to work as a dispatch rider in london and went to hundreds of cafes and i've seen some of my old faves on your website. i wonder if you can help me find a real gem.... it was a small cafe run by an ex-boxer in his late 50's and had old b&w photos of boxers/fights/promo posters all over the place and i mean from skirting boards to ceilings. the food was good but the character of the place and the people there was awesome. all i can remember is that it was in it's own small building in the greenwich area on a desolate industrial estate. it'd be great to re-visit or see a review cheers and thanks for all that dedicated eating

  • from Clare

    It may be too far out of the west end for you, but I have a haven of greasy spooned-ness at the end of my road. YORK CAFE on Woolwich Road is clean, friendly and with proper chips. It is even licensed I think. Give it a go!

  • from Lambros

    TJ's Cafe in mortlake sw14 open seven days a weeks, big portions!! cheap. you should definatley visit this place won the "best greasy spoon" in london award 2003

  • from The Shropshire Cafe

    Russell how come we have not seen you at our cafe you are missing a treat. We serve the best all day breakfast in the North West We cater for everyone also we are in the process of taking on the title of the Ace Cafe of the Midlands Regards Lynn & Pete.

  • from Dave

    May I heartily recommend Sues Cafe in Gillingham Road, Gillingham, Kent (almost opposite the Arriva Bus Depot). Great food, great tea............very good prices for such good quality breakfasts and dinners.

  • from Abby

    The mess in Hackney is much nicer (and admittedly middle classer) than it's local counterparts (nice sausage rather than pig's bum). Some say it's better than Mario's... Alt for a good proper greasy spoon Dilari's on the corner of Mare Street is pretty good. Packed out every lunchtime and they have a non-smoking side of the room. Finally, if you live near Ealing and you've never been to Starvin' Marvins you're missing out. I was cautiously eating my breakfast with the pancake and maple syrup on one side and the bacon and eggs and hash brown on the other. Then absentmindedly I stabbed a bit of bacon onto the end of my syrupy pancaked-up fork… It's manna from lardarse heaven.

  • from Emma

    I love yr book and website. I have never commented on one or a blog before as I dont know how to. My son got this space for me. I am trying to get info on my favourite old cafe, The Blue Sky, by corner of Westbourne Grove and Chepstow Rd,London W2, between PAddington and Portobello Rd, which was my home from home from 1974-80.I lived in various squats and flats nearby and hung out with various groovy people in those days.... It closed down a few years ago. I wld love to get photos and the name/address of the lovely Irish waitress and Italian boss.... I have tried the Archives at Westminster City Library but no luck. I am doing a Ceramics degree as a v mature student and want to do an installation recreating a table at it, the light coming thru steamy bright plateglass windows, the smells, food, china,plastic menus, etc etc. I have assembled a load of stuff (tables, chairs etc),but they are not perfect. I wonder if you have any ideas on where I cld borrow/hire perfect stuff in one fell swoop, for a few days in early Jan 07? Most of all I want to get hold of a tape/CD of cafe background noises. Any ideas? Many thanks, Emma

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Another great set of pics ! I was here one evening a few weeks ago,on my pilgrimage through classic caff land. The lighting was so poor, I think I gave myself eyestrain trying to read The Standard. It looks a lot more cheerful in daylight.

It's incredible that a place so unreconstructed still exists in the heart of one of the world's most expensive cities.

The food's not bad, and what they save on decor reflects in the cheap prices. I'll probably use this place again, while it's still there.


Wonderful! The pasta is decent and the pizzas are great, homemade and unique in style. The espresso is excellent and from a very old machine which, charmingly, requires quite a bit of pre-heating. The Italian licensee seems to run this with his wife and they're very sweet. Best of all is the ambience (where else can you have a conversation in Soho on a Saturday without shouting into your companion's ears?) and the BYO policy. Check out the fabulous 70s spotlights on that mural!

lorelay felli

my name is Lorelay!! I'm writing you from the beautiful Rome, in Italy. Are you Italian?
I found a photo of your restaurant in an italian magazine, and so I decided to keep in touch in order to know the story of your restaurant and his name.
thanks a lot for your kindness. If I will come to visit London, I wont miss a yours coffe!
I have a last question: what does it mean "Cimballino"?
best wishes
Lorelay, Enrico and Valentina


Indeed! And I saw Jarvis Cocker in there a while ago.


Hi, I'm 11 and and I think it's cool to have a resturant that has the same name as me! I'm from the states.

Lesley & Alan schiffman


One August In 1965, I met my girl friend in your restaurant in Bateman Street, married her and still going strong.

It was a great place then, especially the rum babbas! and spaghetti butter & cheese!

Is the juke box still in the alcove?

Great coffee-Gaggia I think-I wonder if the restaurant has changed much in all these years.

Great to see it is still there.

Les & Alan S.


Went in here a couple of weeks ago and had a pizza with anchovies and cherry toms called which i think was called a 'pauper's choice'. The pizza was sublime and the cup of tea was just the right strength. Wonderful place.


I used to come here in the mid eighties with fellow signer-on Mike (him a stage artiste, me a poet) for an inexpensive, quiet, civilized evening away from Thatcherism. I now live in the USA, and every time I come back to London I am relieved and delighted that it's still there. Molto grazie.


Popped in again and had an espresso - yum and a Capricciosa Pizza with a shed load of capers. I was one of only two people in there which was a great shame when pret down the road was stacked. I'm really glad that this place is still open and hope it stays that way for a long time to come.

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